Knowledge management lifecycle supports the creation and maintenance of a repository of knowledge-based applications and services, and a web server for delivering decision support, workflow and other services which exploit this knowledge. Any registered OpenClinical author can create a new application and submit it for publication, or modify an existing one on Repertoire, as illustrated in the figure below.

Publishing lifecycle

The OpenClinical lifecycle uses a mixture of techniques from software engineering and knowledge engineering. The authoring methodology then feeds into an electronic publishing process based on techniques for electronic submission, verification and peer review adapted from traditional electronic publishing of research papers and other document.

Following an editorial decision to publish, an application can be accessed from anywhere on the world wide web. This will facilitiate reviewing and assessment by other members of the community and, if desired, support shared development and building consensus about best practice with colleagues.

The development and support of an effective lifecycle for the development of high quality applications and services is an important goal of the project. Another important goal is to augment the traditional forward publishing channel for disseminating results of medical research with mechanisms by which data about the use and outcomes of published applications can be fed back to the authors and the research community. The aim is to close the loop back into research, to promote open analysis and discussion and to inform revisions.

OpenClinical will eventually support special interest groups of individuals who wish to work together on topics of common interest, to create and maintain consensus about best clinical practice, and make the consensus available in the form of practical applications and reusable components. It will provide services for hosting these applications in evaluation trials, and for capturing the results for subsequent data mining by the trial team and for wider discussions with the Community.